Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM review: A Peerless Performer

By Kevin Carter - Friday January 25 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens performance | Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM versus competition | Conclusion
Canon-ef-24-70-mm-f2.8l-ii-usm

As you might hope for with a $2,500 USD asking price, the second-generation EF24-70mm f/2.8L achieves an overall DxO Mark score of around 26 depending on the camera and the highest rating yet for a professional high-speed mid-range zoom.  Looking at individual lens metric scores, the 16P-Mpix score for sharpness when mounted on the Canon EOS-1Ds Mk III is very good for this lens type, and comparable to a quality prime lens (although as we’ll see it can be equaled by the Sony-made Carl Zeiss equivalent). Zooms, even high quality types like this one may have some weaknesses such as  some slight distortion, chromatic aberration or shading. However, Canon’s engineers have designed and built a lens to very high tolerances and the results are very good for a zoom of this type.

Pros:

  • Good sharpness (16P-Mpix), only equalled by the Sony Zeiss equivalent.
  • Distortion well controlled
  • Transmission improved
  • 805g total weight (145g lighter than predecessor).
  • Compact design.

Cons:

  • CA noticeable in corners.
  • Large (82mm) filter diameter (though front/rear element are protected with a fluorine coating)
  • Very high price